Submission to QLD Youth Review

The Australian Association of Community, Aged and Disability workers is a membership body that aims to represent the needs of workers and those of the community the workers assist. While we recognise there is some irony in the fact that some of our responses actively argue against relying on non-youth stakeholders and yet we make this submission in the hopes that the youth of Queensland will be given a much larger, real voice in future decision making.

  1. What do you think would be the most positive difference a new Queensland Youth Strategy could make for young people in Queensland?

    Including them as full members of the body politic commensurate with their socioeconomic obligations

  2. What would you like to see change for young people in Queensland over the next 5 years?

    Eligibility to appropriate housing and independent income at 16 years where ‘suitability’ for living at home is not only determined by the parent/care giver.   Where there is evidence and support from organisations to support independent living, young people need more appropriate access to independence.

  3. To what extent do you agree with the statement, “COVID-19 continues to impact young people’s lives”.

    I agree with the statement.  This particularly impacts young people in terms of gaining meaningful employment due to vaccinations, in terms of being aware of current requirements for masks etc.  The other impact for young people is the disruption to their education during lockdowns of 2020 and 2021.  Key learning and development areas have been missed due to these disruptions.  Many young peoples senior education grades will impact employment options for years to come and other young people experienced illness and a deterioration of immune system function that will take years to restore.

  4. What learnings from COVID-19 could inform a new Queensland Youth Strategy?

    Key learning and development areas have been missed due to these disruptions. Many young peoples senior education grades will impact employment options for years to come and other young people experienced illness and a deterioration of immune system function that will take years to restore.

  5. Please rank in order of priority, what do you think are the most important issues or challenges facing young Queenslanders?

    • Access to affordable housing
    • Mental health and access to mental healthcare
    • Climate change
    • Drugs and alcohol including use and misuse
    • Getting and holding onto a job where young people are treated fairly
    • Learning the skills and information that will help young people in life
    • Access to domestic and family violence and sexual assault support services
    • Discrimination (being treated differently because of a young person’s age, race, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability, or another factor that makes them different)
    • Young people being involved in government decision-making
    • Healthy lifestyle (includes physical health, sexual education and healthy food)

  6. To what extent do you agree that the issues listed above accurately reflect the key issues young people are facing in Queensland?

    It is reasonably comprehensive

    The Key issues are housing and mental health. The interaction of these creates the conditions for all other issues to be improved or worsened

  7. Are there any other issues or challenges that you think are just as important as those listed?

    Reactionary policy making especially in relation to youth justice. Harsh penalties and imprisonment do nothing to reduce recidivism or create social engagement

  8. What would you like the Queensland Government to do to respond to the issues and challenges identified?

    Ensure they aren’t reactionary. Engage with young people and community organisations. Stop listening to the MSM and the lnp

    Put funding into treatment services, community enterprises, youth centric organisations

  9. What do you consider to be the key role of the Queensland Government in addressing the needs of young people?

    1. funding – targeted and fair- e.g. not based around electorates and prioritised according to need
    2. consultation – actually engaging the key stakeholders. This is the 12 to 25 year olds. Not the organisations that purport to represent them
    3. legislation –
      1. Ensuring that access and equity is embodied in the law.
      2. Ensure that youth justice is treated as rehabilitative not punitive.
      3. Ensure people who have the responsibility to pay taxes have the right to help determine how they are spent. E.g. if you can work and pay tax at 15 then you should be able to vote

  10. To what extent do you agree the Queensland Government’s policies, programs and services are addressing issues important to Queensland young people?

    This is occurring as a response to previous issues and needs.  As long as government policy, programs and services remain static they will be always to limited in addressing current needs for young people.   The issues important to young people is an ever-changing concept.  Additionally, like all population groups, the diversity of issues important for young people will outpace government response.

  11. How can the Queensland Government better support youth sector stakeholders to deliver initiatives that improve the lives of young Queenslanders?

    Really ask, before funding criteria is set and responses to questions are biased to attain the funding available.  Ask young people – from all backgrounds – who are accessing these services, what do they feel would improve service delivery to improve their quality of life.

  12. How can the Queensland Government communicate better with youth sector stakeholders about what it is doing to address issues important to young people?

    1. ensure any funded service has an equitable representation of young people in decision making (committee/board representation)
    2. ensure funding decisions are taken in consultation with youth- this will require some serious round table/ forum work
    3. stop making funding competitive

  13. How should the Queensland Government collaborate with youth sector stakeholders to meet the diverse needs of young people?

    1. stop presuming agencies are stakeholders that actually represent youth- they represent self interest
    2. Have a standing offer to young people to be engaged in consultation rather than just once
    3. create ongoing forums/consultative committees of young people
    4. act on their recommendations

  14. How can the Queensland Government support Youth sector stakeholders to help young people build their leadership skills to be influential and effect change in and for their communities?

    • See q13

  15. How can the Queensland Government better connect with the youth networks which you or your organisation support to promote opportunities and encourage engagement with government to ensure their voices are heard?

    • See q13

Mark Cresswell

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